Turning Archive 2007

Subject:
Critiques

Russ Fairfield
>I have some strong opinions about critiques in general, and on-line critques in particular, that nobody seems to agree with. Here is where I am coming from.

The biggest problem we have when we ask for a critique is the meaning of the word. "Critique" means different things to different people. To us as woodturners, the critique in a public forum has become nice people saying nice things about our work, and ignoring it if they can't.

We may not like that definition, but we have done that to ourselves. Whoever does the "critique" at a national or regional symposium always picks up the good stuff that they can say nice things about, and ignores everything else. Whoever does the critique at a large club meeting does the same thing. Wood Central and the other forums are no different. We make nice comments about the good stuff and we ignore the rest.

We may not like that definition of a "critique", but that is the way we have defined it in practice. We have been doing that for a lot of years, and THAT what people expect.

I was the moderator on this forum for 3 years. During that time, I read every post and looked at every picture. There were many who posted ONE photo, received adverse comments, and disappeared. Those who received nice comments always came back. I never thought it was the purpose of the Wood Central forum to drive people away.

I have also seen new folks come to a club meeting, receive criticism from one of the club experts, get mad, and never come back again. I have even seen the experts come to blows over a critical comment that one of them had made about the other. There were several flaming wars of words on this forum that were started over a critique, and the disagreement that followed. Again. those who participated in the war got PO'd and left forever. Some people don't accept criticism well.

Times and the membership have changed. If you folks think think that giving a hard critique here is a good idea, go for it. Be aware that there might be unintended consequences. Keith will be here to pick up the pieces and try to smooth the ruffled feathers.

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